Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Written by: Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
Starring: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is a supreme technical achievement and a standard, if mostly engaging, story. When I saw it for the first time, in IMAX and in 3D, I was astounded at the craftsmanship of some scenes but had an underlying “meh” about everything else. After returning to the movie in theaters again, this time in a standard theater with the standard two dimensions, the flaws only became larger.
As Richard Brody aptly put it in The New Yorker:
Cuarón has done a formidable job of piecing together a plausibly coherent material world of space, of conveying the appearance of that setting and the sensations of the characters who inhabit it. But he has created those sensations generically, with no difference between the subjectivity of his characters and the ostensible appearance to a camera of those phenomena. He offers point-of-view images that are imbued with no actual point of view.
The movie works as well as it does because of the audience’s built-in history with Sandra Bullock, who plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a woman who is having a really bad day trying to get back to Earth after a space station accident. Bullock carries the movie quite well, and is aided in parts by the effortless charm of George Clooney’s on-screen persona.